By Jodi Summers
1 in 4 low and middle income renters are spending more than half their income on rent and utilities, concludes Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. Nationally, that number translates into about 10 million households.
In April, one in every 593 housing units nationwide received a foreclosure filing. 55,896 of those properties were in California, according to Realty Trac. Much of that inventory is owned by the government, through Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the FHA.
“These affordability problems are marching up the income scale,” notes Harvard’s Eric Belsky. “It means more people have less money to spend on household necessities such as food, health care, and savings.”
As opposed to the government spending lots of money on maintaining those houses each month, why doesn’t ease properties out to some of those 10 million struggling households. The government makes money, families have more money to input into the economy – it’s a win-win.
As the economy improves, tenants and rent rates have become far more stable. The 2011 National Apartment Report from Marcus & Millichap notes that Los Angeles County vacancy rates will drop to 4.4% by year’s end… and… more good news… asking rents will reach $1,395 per month, up 1.8%.
“The biggest barrier to housing’s recovery right now is the vast supply of foreclosed and about-to-be foreclosed homes…the dreaded shadow inventory,” summarized CNBC journalist Diana Olick. “The biggest problem in the rental market right now is dwindling supply.”
The post-recession vision of home ownership is not what was. Recent grads who have been surfing the recession as well as Baby Boomers who took big hits on their nest egs don’t necessarily see housing as a solid investment. They can’t/don’t want to buy, but rents are high.
“The longer term view is that we have to have a more balanced housing policy nationally,” observed, Shaun Donovan, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
“We focused on home ownership. We have to continue to do that, but we can’t forget about rental housing.”
CALIFORNIA + IKEA BAN 100 WATT BULBS –> Potential savings: $35.6 million in electricity and 10.5 million incandescent bulbsJuly 24, 2011 on 12:03 am | In Fascinating Information, Federal Government, Green, Market Trends, Statistics, Uncategorized | 8 Comments
by Jodi Summers
In California, we have always been ahead of the curve when it comes being progressive. We are proud of the fact that we are way ahead of the pack when it comes to CalGreen and alternative power. Once again, we’ve gone one step beyond by rolling the ban on 100-watt incandescent light bulbs early…and the big box retailer IKEA is in tandem with state goals.
New light bulb options include LED – light-emitting diode bulbs and CFL – compact fluorescent bulbs (which are rumored to contain mercury).
The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, calls for a ban on the traditional 100-watt incandescent light bulb. The law goes into effect in all states starting in 2012.
By implementing the law one year earlier, the California Energy Commission concludes that consumers will save $35.6 million in electricity bills and 10.5 million incandescent bulbs will not be sold. We have yet to see the statistics on its impact on our carbon footprint…
IKEA has stopped selling and stocking incandescent bulbs, the first retailer to halt the sale of all such lights. This decision came from the results of an IKEA consumer survey conducted in December 2010, which found that 59% of Americans have already changed to energy-saving lights. 79% know that the bulbs will save money, although
61% are not aware of the legislation.
The phase-out of 100-watt bulbs does not currently affect lower wattage incandescent bulbs…but get ready…the CEC notes that over the next couple of years, similar efficiency standards will be applied to 75-, 60- and 40-watt bulbs.
The IKEA survey found that 62% are not concerned about the disposal of old bulbs… which can easily be recycled via mail or pickup through sites like http://www.ecycleenvironmental.com.
By Jodi Summers
Have you ever had to go inside because of the noise from a plane around Santa Monica Airport? Now you can stalk the offending airplane and file complaints regarding plane noise & safety on the SMO Webtrak
WebTrak is a truly entertaining application that allows you to watch the movement of flights and air traffic patterns within the greater Los Angeles region. This flight tracking system includes specific information about flights from Santa Monica Municipal Airport (SMO) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), as well as information on air traffic transitioning through the Los Angeles region. Information shown includes the aircraft’s type, altitude, origin/destination airports, and flight identification.
* Blue aircraft icons represent departures from SMO
* Red aircraft icons represent arrivals to SMO
* Green aircraft icons represent departures from LAX
* Yellow aircraft icons represent arrivals to LAX
* Grey aircraft icons represent aircraft operating to or from another airport in the region, or that are transiting through the region and bypassing local airports.
* Airline, company designations and aircraft type information is encoded in 3 or 4 characters.
FILE COMPLAINTS ONLINE
WebTrak is where you may file online noise complaints. Click on the “Complaint” tab located in the upper left corner of WebTrak, then click the “Complaint Form” button. You do not have to identify a flight to register a complaint. The Complaint tab will allow you to research the flight track data to find an aircraft operation that may have caused the disturbance you wish to report. If you do find it, WebTrak allows you to submit a complaint for that specific operation and fills in the information automatically.
SMO has come a long way since the first successful around-the-world-flight took off in 1924 from what was then known as Clover Field.
Launch SMO WebTrak: http://webtrak.bksv.com/smo
For the FAA Aircraft Registry: http://www.faa.gov
List of aircraft company, airline, aircraft type, and airport origin/destination abbreviations, click here: http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/atpubs/CNT/3-3.HTM
The Santa Monica Airport (SMO) Internet Flight Tracking System uses Bruel & Kjaer’s WebTrak. All the details @ http://www.smgov.net/Departments/Airport/For_Our_Neighbors/WebTrak.aspx
By Jodi Summers
Go figure. We had more than 12% unemployment all 2010, but the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says Los Angeles County has more jobs than any other county in the U.S!!??!
In March 2010, the BLS notes that national employment totaled 126.3 million workers, a decline of -2.1% compared from a year prior. In Los Angeles county, our total employment was 3.86 million workers – down by -3.4% from the prior year.
Two other SoCal counties were also in the top 10. Orange County ranked #7 – total employment was 1.34 million workers, down by -4.2%. San Diego County ranked #8 – employment totaled 1.23 million workers (-2.8%), compared with March 2009.
Lots of work on the coasts. Yet, California state unemployment has hovered above 12% this year. (Nationally, it’s been between 9.5%-10% in 2010.) Perhaps SoCal has a supply and demand issue. Statistically, it seems we have an adequate supply of jobs – there are just too many people demanding work.
Congratulations to the top 10 counties for employment rankings (as of March 2010):
* #1: Los Angeles, CA 3.86 million workers, (-3.4% over the year..);
* #2: Cook, IL (Chicago), 2.31 million workers (-2.9% over the year..);
* #3: New York, NY (Manhattan), 2.26 million workers (-1.7% etc…);
* #4: Harris, TX (Houston), 1.97 million workers (-2.5%);
* #5: Maricopa, AZ (Phoenix), 1.61 million workers (-3.8%).
* #6: Dallas, TX, 1.39 million workers (-1.9%);
* #7: Orange, CA 1.34 million workers (-4.2%);
* #8: San Diego, CA 1.23 million workers (-2.8%)
* #9: King, WA (Seattle), 1.10 million workers (-3.1%);
* #10: Miami-Dade, FL, 0.95 million workers (-2.0%).
FYI…our employment statistics are among the ugliest in the country. In September, according to the BLS, Nevada’s unemployment rate held at 14.4%, again the highest among the states. Nevada is followed by Michigan, 13.0%, and in third California at 12.4%. North Dakota continued to register the lowest jobless rate, 3.7%.
In the big picture, only 22 of the largest 326 counties registered any growth in employment in the 12 months leading up to last March. The leaders were Elkhart, IN, where employment grew by +5.7%, and Benton, WA (+5.0% over the year).
edited by Jodi Summers
The City of Santa Monica, the Rand Corporation and Point C are beginning a study to discern the “best use” for the land at Santa Monica Airport both from an economic and social standpoint. Part of the study involves interviewing Santa Monica residents on their concerns and what they would like to see done with the airport property.
If you would like to participate in the study please send your email, phone and home address to:
Bob Trimborn at: email@example.com and
Michael Ferguson at: firstname.lastname@example.org
You will be contacted for your input.
by Jodi Summers
For decades, 64% of American households owned their own home. The numbers began growing in 1995, due to incentives and encouragement from President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush. Democrats, including Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., pushed for mortgage buyers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to purchase more loans targeted toward low-income Americans. Republicans encouraged subprime lending to borrowers with weak credit and fought off regulation of the industry (even though those loans often offered predatory terms.) Under this scenario, homeownership hit an all-time peak of more than 69% in 2004.
“They just assumed: The more homeownership the better,” observed Dean Baker, co-director for the Washington think-tank known as the Center for Economic and Policy Research.
The housing bubble burst in 2006 and the rate of home ownership has been declining gradually ever since. Currently, the households that own their home are in the neighborhood of 66.9%. A record number of foreclosures (nearly a million in 2010) and tight lending standards are expected to keep pushing the homeownership rate down.
It will eventually return to pre-1995 levels, According to IHS Global Insight economist Patrick Newport. “The consensus is, in a lot of cases, it just makes sense for a lot of people to rent.”
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